Understanding the fundamentals of network capacity planning and traffic implications on bandwidth, contracting, budgeting, security and human resources are critical for all Merit Members, regardless of the size of your organization.
The network capacity planning process includes identifying potential shortcomings that may impact an organization’s performance within a given amount of time, usually between three and ten years. Information such as current network traffic, the capabilities of hardware and network appliances, firewall capacity and potential growth should be examined.
Bob Stovall, Merit’s vice president of network strategy and architecture, has been working closely with Merit’s Governing Members to maximize the capabilities of their resources into the future. “By understanding past and current usage to analyze growth trends, organizations can create some predictability for financial and equipment resources,” he noted.
Bob’s first step when assisting an organization with capacity planning is to analyze current bandwidth. He then applies these numbers to a compound annual growth equation, similar to financial models. This will provide a close estimate of the necessary traffic capacity for a site within a set amount of years. “On average, we are seeing compound annual growth of 35 percent PER YEAR,” he added.
Armed with a future traffic estimate, organizations can then select the appropriate bandwidth contract to support their needs over the coming years, preventing wasted budget dollars from over purchasing, while at the same time ensuring that their business needs will be met.
This future traffic estimate can also help with the budgeting and procurement of routers, switches, core end devices, firewalls, vpn services, load balancers and more. Predictability in traffic can ensure that any equipment an organization purchases will be able to support usage until the next refresh cycle.
For assistance in understanding your organization’s future bandwidth needs, contact your Member Engagement Manager at [email protected] today!